Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Month: November 2023

Australian Housing Wealth Is Meaningless, Destructive And Fundamentally Changing Our Society

High-priced homes do not create wealth, Alan Kohler says, they redistribute it. Now financial success is largely a function of geography, not accomplishment

My parents were married in 1951 and, with a war service loan, bought a block of land in South Oakleigh, eight miles from Melbourne’s central business district.

I don’t know what my dad was making then, but he was a carpenter and apparently the average wage of a carpenter in 1951 was about 80 shillings a week, or £350 a year. And judging by average prices back then, they would have paid about £1,000 for the land. (By the way, the median house price had more than doubled in 1950, recovering from the big fall caused by price controls during the second world war, on which more later.)

Dad built the house himself, including making the bricks, working on weekends and at night, and Mum and Dad lived in a garage, to which I was brought home when I was born and where I spent the first three years of my life. But if they had bought a house and land package, which was rather more common than building it yourself, they would have paid about £1,250. So, like the median family at the time, they would have paid about 3.5 times household income (Mum didn’t work) for their first house, which was about average for the time.

Read the original article at www.theguardian.com

Australia Is At Social Breaking Point. Where To From Here?

It’s grim, isn’t it? This week, we’ve heard ANZ’s chief executive declare home loans are now “the preserve of the rich”, seen the Rental Affordability Index conclude that renting is less affordable than ever, and learnt that our social cohesion is at the lowest level ever measured by the Scanlon-Monash index. All are clearly related.

Home loans are so expensive because high property prices are now meeting high-interest rates. Naturally, landlords are passing this on to renters. And those interest rates are increasing because inflation is stubbornly high, meaning however unaffordable housing is, everything else is costing more, too.

The ensuing financial stress is seeping through the community and straining our social and even political relationships. That last point isn’t my speculation. It’s what the Scanlon report found. Taken altogether, this is a picture of slow-motion breakdown.

Read the full article at www.theage.com.au

Western Australia To Offer Airbnb Owners $10,000 To Rent To Long-Term Tenants

Short-term accommodation owners in Western Australia will be offered a $10,000 incentive to rent their properties to long-term tenants to boost housing supply.

Airbnb owners and other short-term rental accommodation providers will be offered nation-leading incentives of $10,000 to make their properties available to long-term tenants in Western Australia.

The scheme is part of a slew of changes introduced by the Labor government to boost housing supply and regulate the growing short-term rental market.

Community groups say the strategy could double the state’s rental housing supply.
Read the original article at theguardian.com

A Housing Crisis Is Unfolding For Many Older People

The Australian welfare system, including the Age Pension, was designed on the assumption that older people own their home and can age there.

But the latest National Seniors Australia research has shown this to be far from true for many of us.

In February this year, the 11th National Seniors Social Survey, or NSSS-11, asked more than 5,300 people aged 50 and over about their housing situation.

It revealed housing affordability concerns plague two-thirds of us, and more than half are living in homes unsuitable for later life because they need modifications, security of tenure, or assistance to manage their size.

The findings are consistent with the alarm bells already ringing across the country about rental and mortgage crises, showing they affect older people as well as the young.

Read the original article at nationalseniors.com.au